25% Of Americans Admit Partisan Politics Drove Them To Boycott Brands

Amid the increasingly divided electorate, it appears the most important part of America - the consumer - is now caught up in the political partisanship like never before.

Think there's more hoopla about brand boycotts than actual boycotting? Maybe not. As Adage.com reports, a new Ipsos survey found that 25% of Americans said they had stopped using a brand's goods or services in the previous three months because of protests, boycotts or the brand's perceived political leanings.

A quarter of the U.S. population amounts to around 80 million people according to US Census data.

"That's a lot of people that are saying politics are driving their purchasing behavior," said Chris Jackson, VP and strategic communication research lead at Ipsos Public Affairs.


"Socially conscientious consumerism has been on the rise for years," said Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations.


"Given the combination of that trend and the current politically charged climate, it's not surprising to see that such a significant number of Americans have changed their shopping habits due to politics."

The big takeaway according to Ipsos: Marketers can't always avoid the political fray any more, and are well-advised to at least know their consumers' political leanings.

"It's really important to understand are your customers liberal or conservative, or do they cross the line or are they both," Jackson said.

Daniel O'Connell, managing director and Brand Definition, a agency that works primarily with tech clients including Hitachi and Philips, was not convinced, arguing that brands shouldn't worry about political biases of consumers and should refrain from getting caught up in politics.

"Swaying one way versus another to mollify or pander maybe to one part of the group -- that makes no sense whatsoever," he said.


"As a brand, you've got to stand for something yourselves and it's got to be your values."

Just ask Starbucks, Nordstrom, or Uber...